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May 2012 - Report reveals one in five Wills are flawed

 Download press release here

‘The shocking revelation that 1 in 5 Wills are flawed, according to a recent report from the Legal Services Board, is scandalous’ says Ben Holden, Associate Solicitor, Wills and Probate solicitor team at local Basingstoke law firm, Phillips.  ‘Many of the Wills in the survey contained ‘basic errors’ and a handful were so bad that they ‘could not be executed’.

Why should that be?  Well, currently anyone can help you make a Will and that’s part of the problem: the Citizens' Advice Bureau has warned that increasing numbers of people have been conned by bogus Will writers with high pressure sales tactics offering cheap Wills in town centres or door to door. 

‘Making a Will is a must for everyone at some point in their lives’ says Ben ‘but selecting the best person is key to ensuring your assets go to the person(s) you choose.’  Ben warns that low-cost or even free Wills could prove an expensive mistake. So if you are one of the 70% in the UK who hasn’t made a Will, then Ben has this advice:

• Do your homework.  Speak to friends and relatives who could recommend where they have received good service.
• Check for qualifications.  It is surprisingly easy to set up a practice as a Will writer - you don’t even have to be trained. So if anything goes wrong you might not have any come back. Solicitors are qualified, regulated and insured so you can always turn to the Legal Services Ombudsman if things don’t turn out the way you want them to.
• How much does it really cost? If it looks too good to be true then it usually is, so be careful, many of my clients have been tempted by offers of a cheap Will predominantly from unregulated providers such as Will writers, only to come away having spent a lot more than they initially thought.  So beware hidden costs! 

‘Families want peace of mind that their loved ones will be provided for’ concludes Ben ‘so it’s in everyone’s best interests that this report from the Legal Services Board calls for Will writing to be regulated to improve standards. 
Make sure the person that prepares your Will is trained, regulated and insured.  You wouldn’t let a dentist deal with your teeth if you found out they were untrained and inexperienced and the same should be the case for Wills.  After all, a Will should give you the peace of mind to know that your loved ones are provided for when you are no longer here.  If you haven’t made a Will, now is the time to do so.’

Why not drop in for coffee and cakes at our informal ‘Open Morning’ on Saturday 16 June, 9.30-12.00.  We’d love to meet you.

Call Sheila Glyn-Owen on 01256 854637
Email Sheila Glyn-Owen